Raw CHef Training: which one

edited January 2012 in Other Stuff

Hello.

I was wondering if some of you have been to a chef training. I'd like to have the Raw FOod Chef Training but i'm hesitating between 2.

First, the Living Light school: to me, it looks professional, well made and everything. It's much more EXPENSIVE, but it seems worth it. I would have to wait up to april to get the classes, but there is no hurry for now, so I can wait. The only things that bothers me is the total cost... and it's in California.

THe Alissa Cohen Chef certification: This one is made by 3 levels plus a 12h training at the Grezzo Restaurant. It's cheaper, but it looks less professional. It looks more like classes for people who would like to learn to cook raw food, but not having the professional training to work as a Chef. But, I could have these classes in december and see if I really want to do that, before paying a bunch of money and go in California (which is veryyyy far for me). The Alissa Cohen is in Boston.

So, the thing is that I would like to know if some of you made one of these 2 classes or training, or know somebody who did it, and could give me advices or testimonials of what they learned: which one would you recommand.

Thanks a lot! :)

Karine

Comments

  • Thanks Shelley!

    Actually I'm from Montreal too.. !

    I will tell you about the Alissa vs Living light training.

    Up to there, we'll stay at Crudessence :)

    Karine

  • Karine,

    You wrote:

    "First, the Living Light school: to me, it looks professional, well made and everything. It's much more EXPENSIVE, but it seems worth it. I would have to wait up to april to get the classes, but there is no hurry for now, so I can wait. The only things that bothers me is the total cost... and it's in California.

    THe Alissa Cohen Chef certification: This one is made by 3 levels plus a 12h training at the Grezzo Restaurant. It's cheaper, but it looks less professional. It looks more like classes for people who would like to learn to cook raw food, but not having the professional training to work as a Chef. But, I could have these classes in december and see if I really want to do that, before paying a bunch of money and go in California (which is veryyyy far for me). The Alissa Cohen is in Boston."

    One thing to keep in mind--you can always take skills you have learned in other cooking schools or in a restaurant and apply them to raw food preparation. I say this because two noted raw chefs who own restaurants--Sarma Melngalis owns Pure Food and Wine in NYC and Chef Dan owns Quintessence in NYC--have both stated that they'd rather take people with restaurant experience and train them from the ground up in raw food preparation than take someone with a raw food chef certification. Their rationale is that people who get raw food chef certs often have never worked in a restaurant before and thus have no idea how tough the work is and how to do it in a cost-effective manner, and people with no raw food background don't come in with pre-existing notions. That's just their opinions, of course. I don't know Chef Dan's background, but before Sarma got into raw food, she attended the French Culinary Institute, a very well-regarded and tough 'regular' cooking school.

    If you really want to work as a professional raw food chef in a restaurant and you want to go to a chef school, you need to find a program that will teach you things like: knife skills (key in any kitchen but essential in a raw food restaurant), kitchen math and economics (how to plan how much food to buy so nothing is wasted), plating, food safety (so staff and customers don't get sick) as well as how to plan creative menus. Before you spend money on any raw chef program, find out if they teach these things; if not, take a pass.

    You might check out the Natural Gourmet's cooking school in NYC. One of my friends attended it and interned at Greens in San Francisco. It is not raw and it is expensive, but it is well-regarded by professionals in the industry. My friend attended it full-time, 4 months, 40+ hours per week. Here are the curriculum highlights:

    http://naturalgourmetinstitute.com/html/curriculum-highlights.html

    I have more than a passing interest in this stuff myself--I love to prepare food and have friends in the food industry. If I just wanted to know more about making raw foods and how to make my meals look more professional, I might opt for Alissa's first class or second class. If I wanted an actual raw chef certification that would be on a par with what people learn in conventional cooking schools, I'd probably go with Cherie Soria's, but I'd want to find out whether the skills I listed above were taught and how her course measures up to the National Gourmet course.

  • Raw Librarian, I couldnt have said it better. I think people often believe they can go through some weekend classes and become chef's when people go through YEARS of tough education to achieve those goals. I grew up in a chef's an restaurant owners household and know the hard work that goes into it!

    Owners would rather have real life experience rather than a piece of paper that says you attended some weekend class. With more and more people getting into raw foods the competition to get into an amazing raw place is only going to get tougher.

    I myself plan on attending the living light EVEN though a co worker went there and had ZERO positive things to say about it and recommended I go some place else. So I am not knocking people who would like to attend because I plan on going as well but for different reasons. I also see alot of people who are new to raw foods get OVERLY excited about raw foods and make these life changing plans only to find that two years down the road it's not a lifestyle they can live. I love peoples initial fanaticism about it but hope people take the time to fully live the life for a while to make sure it's a great fit for them.

    Fonky~ what are some things you are trying to accomplish with the education? I gathered you are relatively new to raw foods so is this something you would like for yourself?

    Cheers!

  • Rawliscious & Karine, I'm from Montreal too, but now live in Toronto. My brother still lives in Montreal at St. Urbain & Rachelle in the Mont Royal, across the street from Crudessence (He's raw too). He goes there all the time...lucky him! Next time I go to Montreal I'm definetly going there!

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